Mentl Logo


Workplace Stress

When we spend eight or more hours at work each day, it is not conducive to anyone to not enjoy any part of it, writes
Career and Leadership Coach Heather Broderick
, winner of Advocate of the Year in ‘the mentl awards 2023‘.

Yes, the hours may be long, we may have deadlines to meet and we may have to work with people we would sometimes choose not to see, but parts of our work should be enjoyable, and if we cannot have any fun at work, what are we doing there?

There is no equation whereabout ‘workmust=misery’, so why not try to make work a place where people enjoy being? Whether you are a leader, working in HR, in charge of wellbeing strategy or a worker on the shop floor, here are five ways we can incorporate more fun into our working week:

Bring people together with food

The saying ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ applies to most of us. Food creates sharing, community, communication and an opportunity to sit with people that we do not see often. It brings people together and allows everyone to relax while eating, drinking and socialising. So, whether it is a formal team lunch, or a gathering of colleagues once every few weeks, make an effort to bring food in, order or arrange a pot luck, get everyone together around food and observe how happy it makes people.

Create groups for joint interests

If you love books, start a work book club. If you love singing, start a work choir. If you love delivering yoga sessions, offer them to your colleagues. Take the things you love and create a community around them at work. You never know, someone you see every day could jump at the chance to join a team band or cinema club, so take what you are interested in and offer it to others. It takes one person to organise a pub quiz team, a work fantasy football or a world cup predictor, but it brings everyone together and allows people to have something in common with colleagues.

Career and Leadership Coach Heather Broderick, winner of Advocate of the Year in ‘the mentl awards 2023‘.

Promote social events and activities

This may not be for everyone, as we all have different personal situations, but organising a team night out, meal out or event, can give everyone the opportunity to see each other in a different environment, forget about work and enjoy the company. Work nights out are a great way to celebrate a result at work or promote something collectively. A charity fun run, beach clean-up or sponsored walk can help people feel they belong and promote healthy lifestyle as well as giving back to the community.

Promote competition, rewards and celebrations

Putting time aside throughout the year to celebrate team success, reward employees for their hard work and create a competitive element to the job, allow colleagues to congratulate and support each other, which raises morale, increases motivation and acts as an incentive.

Try bring your passions and skills into your role

If your skills and talents are not being used in the role you are in, see if there is a way we can incorporate them into the role you do. For example, if your strength is project management but you are in an HR role, is there a way to introduce a large project for the company which would usually be managed by another department? If your skillset is with people and you are a great mentor or coach, could you ask to be paired with new employees as a mentor or buddy?

We are in control of our own happiness, so let’s own it and if things at work feel mundane, boring or under-challenging, it is probably because they do not align with our values. By bringing in activities and events that you like, it will benefit the company, inspire others to do similar things and give opportunities to colleagues that did not exist before. Take back control and let’s all go and have some more fun at work.